My favourite backcountry adventure is always a trip to Shoshone lake in Yellowstone. It's a laborious venture and should be reserved for seasoned paddlers.
The trip starts out at the boat launch at Lewis lake. If the weather is calm you can paddle directly across to the river channel, about 2.25 miles away. You'll then paddle upriver for about two miles, or until you can no longer beat the current shallow water depth. At this point you'll be getting out and pulling your craft by rope upriver for the last mile or so.
Once you reach the channel inlet, Shoshone lake is laid out before you like a jewel from the heavens. The lake is about 7 miles long with approximately 24 miles of shoreline. Shoshone lake is the largest backcountry lake in the lower 48. Depth approaches 300 feet in places. Cold waters and unpredictable weather are the rule.
Most people do this trip in a group and this undoubtedly increases the safety margin with regard to paddling as well as bear encounters. That said, the ultimate way to experience the solitude and wonder of Shoshone lake is going solo, in my opnion. Prepare yourself, educate yourself, and have the skills necessary to take care of yourself and you'll be fine.
© Gaylon Holmes Photography